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CBD Oil Side Effects & Precautions

CBD oil is rapidly gaining popularity here in the United States and around the world. People are increasingly choosing these natural products over harsh pharmaceuticals. But is CBD really safe? Are there any side effects of CBD?

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD oil can have some side effects.

Generally speaking, CBD oil is well-tolerated and does not usually cause significant adverse effects. With that said, a variety of potential CBD side effects have been observed, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Psychosis
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite

CBD has also been known to interact with other medications. It’s a good idea to discuss your plans for using CBD with a medical professional.

Should I Be Worried About CBD Side Effects?

When considering any sort of medication, supplement or alternative remedy, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons. CBD oil is no different. CBD oil benefits and side effects must be compared and considered closely.

With that said, the majority of people experience little to no side effects from CBD oil. Of people that do experience CBD oil side effects, the most commonly reported are tiredness, changes of appetite/weight, and diarrhea, according to a review of clinical trials.

CBD is unlikely to cause serious side effects, although it can interact with other drugs – which could potentially be serious.

Generally speaking, the side effects of CBD oil should not be of too much concern for the average person. However, it’s recommended to speak to your doctor before beginning regular CBD use.

What the Science Says

A comprehensive review of 132 studies published in 2011 analyzed the safety and side effects of cannabidiol. It noted that:

Several studies suggest that CBD is well tolerated and safe in humans at high doses and with chronic use. However, in vitro and in vivo studies showed potential drug metabolism interactions, cytotoxicity, and decreased receptor activity.” (Source)

In simple English, the authors noted that many CBD studies conducted on humans showed that CBD was relatively well tolerated and safe in humans, even at high doses. But, test-tube studies and animal studies showed more potential for complications, particularly in regards to reactions with other drugs.

An update on that same review, published in 2017, further extended the dataset to explore CBD oil side effects. It noted that:

In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research. The majority of studies were performed for treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders. Here, the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.” (Source)

Interestingly, this update specifically compared CBD oil side effects to potential side effects from pharmaceuticals. This is an important point to understand – yes, CBD has the potential to cause unwanted effects. But, the same could be said for most medications and supplements. And in fact, the study cited above notes that CBD has a better side effect profile than many medications used for comparable applications.

With all that said, both of these studies noted the need for more research. CBD oil side effects are still being explored, and we need more clinical trials to explore the potential for long-term complications.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil can have some side effects, but in general it is well tolerated. More research is needed, but most reputable studies have noted that CBD appears to be safe for human use. As always, it’s important to consult a medical professional before trying something new, particularly if you already use prescription medications.

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